Driving off-road will put your driving skills to the test, as you’ll need to tackle various terrains that normal vehicles can’t handle. Plus, you may often need to navigate across remote and hostile environments for many hours at a time.
It will provide drivers with more adventure when behind the wheel, which is why you must have exceptional skills. Of course, due to the challenging terrain, you’ll need to tackle and extreme weather conditions, you should look for ways to improve your safety once you step inside a pickup truck or jeep. Find out how to stay safe when driving off-road.
Understand Approach Angles
If you’re new to off-roading, the approach angle is the maximum rank angle a vehicle can climb along a horizontal plane. Off-roaders must understand their vehicle’s approach and departure angle clearances, which will make it easier to avoid obstacles.
The breakover angle is the position between your tires and the middle of the vehicle’s underside. Once you come off an obstacle, such as a rock, you must have a firm idea of the midsection clearance to avoid scraping it on the rock. If you don’t understand the clearance, you may end up balancing on a rock with your wheels in the air.
Customize Your Vehicle
While your pickup truck might be designed to tackle various arduous terrains and obstacles, you can customize the vehicle to improve its comfort and safety when off-road. This post from Empyre Off Road provides many fantastic tips for personalizing your pickup truck for an off-road adventure. For example, install a front camera to see the ground in front of you or increase your light coverage with LED ditch lights.
Never Go Off-Road Alone
Despite the temptation to enjoy a solo off-road adventure, you must bring someone along with you. As you’ll tackle challenging terrain and many obstacles, it is easy to make a mistake. Plus, accidents may happen that could impact your safety or damage your truck.
If you experience an injury or your vehicle breaks down, you’ll be glad you brought a friend along. They could quickly tow you back to safety or call for medical assistance to ensure you receive immediate attention.
Check The Weather
While pickup trucks and 4×4 vehicles can handle bad weather better than street-only cars, extreme weather conditions can prove a challenge for the most experienced off-road drivers. Always check the weather before a journey to prevent being caught up in sleet, snow, or a rainstorm. Also, keep survival essentials in the vehicle, such as:
- A sleeping bag
- Food and water
- Spare tires
- Snow chains
- Quality winch
- Recovery equipment
Learn The Route
Before you set off, you must familiarize yourself with the off-road route. Otherwise, the truck might plunge into a deep rut, plummet down a steep incline, or face a cliff edge. Experienced off-roaders understand the importance of a planned route, which will help them identify potential problems. In addition to using a map, ask other off-roaders for route advice to remain safe behind the wheel.